Bidi Bidi Birthdays for Selena and Frida Friday ATX

BIPOC & queer-focused event organizer celebrates six years

Display at Frida Friday's Galentines photobooth in Feb. 2022 (Photo by M. Navarro Photography)

April 16 marks the birthday of two iconic figures: Selena, the “Queen of Tejano,” and Frida Friday ATX, the event organizer leading the way for fun, intersectional affairs in Austin. Both share the spotlight this Sunday at the Anything for Selena’s Celebration, noon-6pm, at the Brewtorium.

TK Tunchez, founder of Las Ofrendas aka the parent company of Frida Friday, says she started FFATX around six years ago as an intentional space for women of color, which she felt was lacking in Austin. “As the years have passed,” Tunchez says, “I’ve expanded the mission of Frida Friday and all Las Ofrendas events to align with my vision of creating truly intersectional spaces.” Efforts to center and hire all BIPOC and queer creators – such as DJs, vendors, performers, and staff – represent that expansion of Tunchez work. Her hope is to create opportunities for those Austin creatives caught in marginalized intersections, leaving them vulnerable to the growing living costs of the city. “I’m proud to create a brand that, I hope, will make a lasting impact on our community and our future generations,” Tunchez says. “It’s important to me that young Queer, BIPOC folks see that they can manifest abundant lives and that they can be successful business owners, also.”

As a performer at Sunday’s show, drag artist Bobby Pudrido is among those creatives given opportunity by Tunchez’ Frida Friday events. He’s been in attendance at many of the organization's events over its lifespan, having found community through the space it offers. “Because of skyrocketing cost of living and the inevitable displacement of Black and brown folks in the city,” he says, “I find it increasingly difficult each year to find spaces that cater to queer folks of color. Frida Friday has become a staple for Latine queer makers and creatives in Austin to connect and celebrate.”

Both Tunchez and Pudrido share a love for Selena, born of what she represented to them as Latinx Texans. In many ways, Tunchez’s relationship with Selena is a blueprint for her work with Frida Friday. Being an immigrant child of a Texan mother, she says Selena was the closest she got to seeing a mainstream Latina depiction. “Seeing someone who was bilingual and bicultural was really important to me,” Tunchez says, “and helped me know that I didn’t need to fit into someone else’s idea of what was accepted or successful, that I could define that for myself.”

TK Tunchez speaking at the SX Southern Baddies Legendary Drag Brunch in March (Photo by M. Navarro Photography)

Pudrido’s connection to Selena comes from a very personal place. Being himself from the border town of Laredo, Texas, he says Selena’s Mexican American roots meant so much to the people around him – her music scoring social events like fiestas, quinceneras, and carne asadas. “I was 5 when she passed, so she was my introduction to the concept of death in a beautiful way,” Pudrido recalls. “Cities around the valley and the Mexican border held vigils to honor her after her death. I have a specific childhood memory of holding a candle next to dozens of crying strangers at Selena’s vigil.”

For his performance at Sunday’s celebration, Pudrido aims to harness the Mexican cultural imperative to honor the dead. Selena’s continuing legacy speaks to how important that honor is, he says, and he plans to channel the same spirit used when his family commemorates his late grandmother. “I’m honored to be performing and hosting this event and will treat it the way I would my grandma’s celebrations,” Pudrido says, “[with] the energy, love, and dancing that our loved ones who have passed would have wanted for us.” He also hopes to remind folks enjoying the drag festivities of their civic imperative during these legislatively fraught times. Staying informed on what is happening in the Texas Lege helps, and Pudrido adds that small actions like registering your stance on bills through “dropping a card” at the Capitol are crucial. “It only takes a few minutes of your time,” Pudrido says, “and means the world to us as we try to survive and thrive in a world that doesn’t prioritize our humanity.”

“I love that we’re creating an inclusive intersectional event to celebrate Selena, and that we’re celebrating drag and cultura at the same time,” Tunchez says. “It seems incredibly important for people to have a chance to embrace Queerness and Latinx culture all the time but especially right now, while our communities are under such direct attack.”

More Selena Celebrations

Selena’s birthday hits on Sunday, April 16, but you can celebrate all weekend long thanks to these other great parties that’ll be honoring the memory and music of this legendary Mexican American musician.

Live Music Series: Selena Quintanilla Cover Band

April 15, 7-9pm
Easy Tiger East, 1501 E. Seventh

Bread and bratwurst purveyor Easy Tiger celebrates the Queen of Tejano’s birthday with a special Selena cover band edition of their live music series. Featuring Erika Santana and the band.

Selena Bidi Bidi Birthday Party

April 15, 9pm
Drinks Lounge & Records, 2001 E. Cesar Chavez St.

Come ready to dance the night away at this all-night party featuring DJ DevilWoman, who’ll be spinning Selena’s best tunes along with your fave reggaeton and Latin hits. There’ll also be custom shirt printing from Goose Prints and specialty cocktails.

Bebesota Drag Brunch: Anything for Selena

April 16, 11am-3pm
Taquero Mucho, 508 E. Sixth

Wear your best Selena-inspired look to this fabulous drag brunch featuring queens Beauty, Gigi Supernova, Marylin Williams, and Dakota Whitney, plus DJ La Morena. Bar treats from Taquero Mucho include special “Preparadas” cocktails based on Selena’s music, fashion, and style.

Big Gay Selena Drag Brunch

April 16, noon
The Courtyard at Fourth and Co., 208 W. Fourth Unit C

Fourth and Co’s iconic Big Gay Drag Brunch tributes Selena at this bigger-than-ever edition of their Austin Pride sponsored event, with special guests like Drag Race’s Alexis Mateo and host Kelly Kline.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

LGBTQ, Frida Friday ATX, Las Ofrendas, Bobby Pudrido, Selena Quintanilla, The Brewtorium, Bidi Bidi Birthday

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